By Aynslee Darmon 
BELLEVILLE – The Healthy Communities Partnership of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties  has launched a new campaign called What Matters to Me .
The campaign allows members of the public to speak up about what issues related to healthy lifestyles are important to them.
Citizens can submit their ideas for change on Facebook  and Twitter , and the campaign managers will bring those issues up with the councils of the 15 municipalities that are members of the partnership.
“We wanted to know what was most important to the citizens of Hastings and Prince Edward counties, and the best way it seems nowadays is to reach out on social media and online and get their feedback,” said Veronica Catry, the chair of the Healthy Communities Partnership.
Five of the most common healthy-living issues are already being addressed through an awareness campaign that includes videos of local residents talking about them. The five issues are access to local food , community gardens , a connected parks and trails system , bike-friendly environments  and inexpensive places to be active and meet friends .
“The campaign itself has been in the works for almost a year,” said Catry. “It started from one small idea and grew from there, and we have been working on it and improving it over time. We wanted to wait for the (fall 2014) municipal election to start speaking with the newly elected councillors as well.”